The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has recognized the proposed increase for funding the U.S. Forest Service's Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) program, from $70 million to $83 million in the president's proposed budget, is a step in the right direction for developing and maintaining accurate inventories of the nation's forests in the face of increasing pressures.
"Adequately funding the FIA program will allow policymakers to accurately assess forest carbon stocks and provide the foundation for analyses that are essential to maintaining a viable forest products industry and the good-paying jobs it provides," said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.
The FIA program gathers consistent data about the area and condition of forests in the U.S. and provides information on changes in forest cover and composition by monitoring plots across the nation. The program also gathers current estimates and trends in forest land ownership and use, as well as information on wood consuming facilities.
The additional investment in the FIA program will allow federal agencies to evaluate changes in U.S. forests from wildfire, insect, disease, and development, as well as to accurately account for forest carbon stocks in greenhouse gas regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry's sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states.